Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff has calculated operating profits for the top smartphone manufacturers and the results are quite favorable for RIM.
The above chart shows Apple (pink) and RIM (turquoise) increasingly taking a disproportionate share of industry profits, mostly at the expense of Nokia’s diminishing handset operating profits (blue).
“Increasingly, the smartphone vendors are claiming more of the industry’s profit dollars even as the pool of profitability stabilizes or shrinks” says Modoff.
RIM is performing better than Apple when it comes to market profit shares. RIM has increased its estimated share of industry profits from 8 percent (2007) to 19 percent (2008) to 35 percent (2009). This is compared to Apple’s 31 percent market share.
As the smartphone industry grows, companies are going to have to look to ways to increase both device profit margins, and total market profit shares.
App World, and manufacturer-based content portals, are going to be key to future profitability. Modoff expects total unit sales to decline slightly this year back down to one billion, while industry revenues will continue to come down from their 2007 peak. This means that RIM will need App World to make up lost revenues from device sales with content purchases.
Enterprise will also be a revenue channel supporting RIM in the coming years that few other device manufacturers will be able to capitalize on in the same way. Major organizations are rolling out full BlackBerry solutions, as RIM takes an increasing share in the enterprise market. Flush with cash and eager to increase efficiency, enterprise will provide RIM with the cashflows needed to sustain research and development and continue making incredible smartphones.